Berlin Soccer Fans Forbidden From Late Night Cheering

Berliners chanting loudly for the German team in the first two games of the World Cup were told to shut up -- or at least shut their windows -- late at night.

A court issued an emergency ruling banning the neighbors of a Berlin woman from making noise outside their flat after 10 p.m. on days the national team plays. The order applies until the end of the tournament, court spokesman Ulrich Wimmer said in an e-mailed statement today.

The decision covers noise “in the form of collective chanting, cheering, loud shouting, including by family members or guests, which disturb the night rest of neighbors,” the court ruled. The ban only applies to this one case.

The German team will play its third game tonight and people in the soccer-fanatic nation customarily meet at home to watch and cheer in groups. Today’s match, against the U.S., will start of 6 p.m. local time. Should Germany proceed to the knockout stages, its next game would either be on June 30 or July 1 and start at 10 p.m. Berlin time.

The ruling is from a court in the Berlin neighborhood of Neukoelln, an up-and-coming area of the city that is a mix of students, artists, immigrants and working-class residents. The quarter is home to many bars and restaurants.

Violations of the court order can lead to a penalty of as much as 250,000 euros ($340,000) or, if the fine isn’t paid, by jail of as long as six months. The ruling was made under a fast track proceeding without hearing arguments from the soccer fans who can still try to have the decision reversed, Wimmer said.

“The parties in this case have been in disagreement for quite a while over how the neighbors can best live together and at times bring their conflict to court,” Wimmer said. He didn’t identify any of the persons involved.

The case is AG Neukoelln, 17 C 1004/14.

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